Salt Lake City educator and Utah Teacher of the Year to tour Peruvian schools


Mohsen Ghaffari Named 2016 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow

The NEA Foundation named Mohsen Ghaffari, a fifth grade educator at North Star Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah, as one the 31 award-winning, public school educators to become this year’s class of Global Learning Fellows. Ghaffari will spend a year building global competency skills (or his capacity to understand and act on issues of global significance.)

Ghaffari and the other Global Learning Fellows, who teach in 30 states across the country and England through the Department of Defense, will also travel together to Lima and Cuzco, Peru, this summer, for a 10-day international field study.

Before departing, Ghaffari will go through robust, year-long professional development and complete Year One of VIF International Education’s Global Gateway, an online course designed to be a foundation for understanding global competence.

The fellowship equips educators to bring an international perspective to their students, school districts, and state and local NEA affiliates.

“We believe that, in order to thrive as global citizens, today’s students need to learn how to investigate the world, recognize perspectives, communicate ideas, and take action,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “That’s why the NEA Foundation created the Global Learning Fellowship: to provide educators with comprehensive professional learning focused on authentically integrating these global skills into classroom instruction.”

Over the course of a year, the NEA Foundation staff, partners, and field experts will support Ghaffari as he immerses himself in online coursework, webinars, and introductory Spanish language learning. Ghaffari will have access to a wide array of web tools to help contextualize their experiences in Peru, as he examines the impact of Peru’s historical, economic, and cultural legacies on its current educational system.

Throughout the fellowship, Ghaffari will develop at least four lesson or unit plans integrated with global competency skills that challenge students to investigate the world beyond their immediate environment. These lesson plans will be shared with educators around the world via VIF International Education, an open-source platform, helping increase field knowledge on the topic.

In February, Fellows met for the first time in Washington, D.C., to participate in a two-day workshop led by leaders in the field of global education.

On June 18-27, 2016, they will convene again in Peru to observe classroom instruction at local schools and exchange ideas and best practices with Peruvian teachers and administrators. Fellows will also meet with representatives from a multinational business to learn about Peru’s global economy.

As part of a service learning project to engage with the local community, Fellows recently launched a crowdfunding campaign called, Books for the Students of Cuzco on Indiegogo. Funds raised through the campaign will go toward purchasing books that Fellows will deliver to school libraries in the surrounding villages of Cuzco.

Get to know all of the 2016 NEA Foundation Learning Fellows by visiting The international field study is sponsored by the NEA Foundation and designed by Education First.

About the NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators’ dues, corporate sponsors, and others. We support student success by helping public school educators work with key partners to build strong systems of shared responsibility. Visit for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our blog.

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